If you’ve ever seen any of Patrik-Ian Polk’s films, you know one thing for certain. Polk is a master of the ensemble cast. Beginning with Punks and continuing through Noah’s Arc (both the movie and the TV series), as well as The Skinny, Polk has a knack for creating characters who are smart, sincere, sensitive, and exceptionally sexy.
Jonathan Harper’s debut short story collection Daydreamers (Lethe Press, 2015) is the kind of book that you hope it would be – a fantastic introduction to a creative and original voice in fiction. The stories are populated with an arresting assortment of characters, including repo men, tattoo artists, suspension artists, role-playing gamers, friends, family and those occupying the grey area between friendship and kinship. Throughout the stories is a pulsing undercurrent of sexual tension and dilemma that keeps the pages turning. I spoke with Harper about Daydreamers in early 2015.
An interview with singer/actor Billy Porter
Billy Porter is a true hyphenate. He’s a singer. He’s a dancer (in high-heeled, thigh-high boots, no less). He’s an actor. He’s a songwriter. He’s a playwright. Is there anything he can’t do? Did I mention that he dances, nightly on Broadway, in high-heeled, thigh-high boots? Porter, who won a Tony (and several other awards) for his portrayal of Lola in the acclaimed stage musical adaptation of the British film Kinky Boots, has just put out his first new studio album, Billy’s Back on Broadway (Concord) in almost ten years. On it, Porter revisits the Broadway songbook, old and new, and comes up with refreshing and appealing interpretations of legendary show tunes. I spoke with Billy about the disc, Kinky Boots, and more. Porter performs songs from Billy’s Back on Broadway and more in Live From Lincoln Center airing on April 3 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.
From every indication, 2015 has the potential to be great year for the British band Spandau Ballet. A recently released hits compilation, The Story (Rhino / Chrysalis) collects favorites such as “True,” “Gold,” and “Chant No. 1,” alongside 16 more tracks, including new ones “Steal,” “This is the Love,” and “Soul Boy.” A documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, telling the story of the band from the beginning, has been playing in theaters. To top that off, the re-formed Spandau Ballet is embarking on a U.S. concert tour. I spoke with co-founding member and primary songwriter Gary Kemp about the band and more in early 2015.
Baltimore baby Elizabeth Hunter (born Elizabeth Hunter Gauvey-Kern) recently made her triumphant return to her hometown with a pre-Thanksgiving show at Germano’s Piattini in the heart of town. If you didn’t get the chance to catch her show, here is your chance to learn a little bit about the young songstress, how she feels about punk rock, Motown, and classical music.
Deborah J. Draisin: How exciting is that for you, to return to Baltimore?
Elizabeth Hunter: It’s really exciting, yeah. I definitely loved music, growing up, and I’ve played a lot of school things, but I’ve never played in the city before. I’ll get to see all of my friends from high school that are still in Baltimore, and my family, have always wanted to come, but can’t make the trek to New York.
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